Africa’s last three mountain glaciers are receding at such a fast rate that they could disappear in two decades – a symbol of the greater destruction of the continent by climate change, a new UN report says.

The report by the World Meteorological Organisation and other international organisations, released ahead of the UN Climate Summit in Scotland that begins on October 31, serves as a bleak reminder that Africa’s 1.3 billion population remain “extremely vulnerable” as the continent warms more rapidly and faster than the global average.

More than 1.2 million more people were displaced as a result of storms and flooding from east and the Horn of Africa.

“By 2030, it is estimated that up to 118 million extremely poor people (living on less than $1.90 per day) will be exposed to drought, floods and extreme heat … if adequate response measures are not put in place,” African Union Farm Commissioner Josefa Sacko said.

‘The rapid shrinking of the last remaining glaciers in eastern Africa, which are expected to melt entirely in the near future, signals the threat of imminent and irreversible change to the Earth system,’ s immediate and reversible global system change,’ said Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, in a statement.

Estimates of the economic impact of climate change vary across Africa, whereas in Sub-Saharan Africa, climate change could continue to cause a 3% drop in GDP by 2050, writes Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko of the African Union Commission in the report.

Africa, which causes fewer than 4% of greenhouse gas emissions, has long been expected to have a serious effect of climate change.

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Climate change is already forcing displaced people all over the continent.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations responsible for advancing knowledge on human-induced climate change. (wikipedia)

African Union

The African Union is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa. The AU was announced in the Sirte Declaration in Sirte, Libya, on 9 September 1999, (wikipedia)

Petteri Taalas

Petteri Taalas is the Secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Appointed in 2015 by the World Meteorological Congress, (wikipedia)

World Meteorological Organization

The World Meteorological Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics. (wikipedia)